Sunday, 1 May 2016

The Academy 2005 (a.k.a. Michael Miu's return after hiatus)

Michael Miu, drawn gorgeously by HolyWiz

I started watching Line Walkers (2014) with Michael Miu as the lead actor. I’m up to Ep 2, and I’m loving it. Michael displayed a very raw emotion during Ep 1, which reminded me of his 80s days. Although this blog is more for wuxia posts (particularly MB’s), I definitely will write a post about Line Walkers here later, for LW was starring Michael as well. And since I also watched his first after-hiatus series (The Academy, 2005), I think it befits posting my review of that series here as well. I actually wrote a review back in December 2015 just after I finished the Academy series, hence the words are raw. I forgot why I never got to post it in my other blog but hey, it’s here today!



6 Dec 2015

I cried today, big time. Because I just finished The Academy 2005 series where Michael Miu played Lee Man Sing, a training instructor for HK police cadets ... And Mr Lee dieeeeed!! So I bawled myself till I was too tired to cry. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Now you know the ending of the series (not a spoiler really, Wikipedia and Google have that fact 10 years ago), but it was still sad to see an idol dying in a story, albeit fictional.

So the Academy was like a comeback series for Michael after 17 years of hiatus (1987-2004) on his side. It was a bit weird to see a 46-47 years old (the series was filmed 10 years ago) Michael with short hair and modern clothing and speaking English to some degree. Feels like a totally different Michael from the 25-26 years old Michael who courted/befriended Barbara Yung in ancient costumes in the mid 80s... Perhaps that's what happens when you watch your childhood idol after 30 years of hiatus (1985-2015 for my case)... Those youthful swordsmen mingled with the current fatherly figure of Michael Miu to create two different Michaels in my head. Scary...cos I know they're one and the same. Michael's 46 years old self (he's now 57) still did some signature gestures that his 25-26 years old self did as Han/Qing characters...

Michael's character (Mr Lee, or "Lee Sir" as the HKers and the cadets would call him) was a strict, by the book, instructor for new police cadets of the Hong Kong Police Training School (PTS). His rigidity has given him some troubles with the young cadets, particularly the young men, who would naturally find it hard to be reprimanded on a regular basis. But Mr Lee had a good open heart and he was actually a caring person. Throughout the series, he developed close relationships with Lee "Ken" Pak Kiu and Cheung Lap Man, two driven cadets who originally competed with each other for the Silver Whistle Medal, the PTS's highest award.



In the end... Lee Sir won their hearts...

Mr Lee’s relationship with Ken went so far such that Ken eventually cooked crab dishes for Lee Sir (they shared an apartment together due to Lee's prior engagement with Ken's mum who went cold feet before her wedding with Lee), despite Ken originally hating Lee Sir for "leaving his mum" (as the young cadet perceived it) and wouldn't exchange words at home other than monosyllables. As for A Man, his appreciation of Lee Sir's character grew exponentially from hating the PTS instructor with all his life (for Lee being too nice and helpful to A Man's mum) to him giving his approval for Lee Sir to court his mum (A Man's I mean, of course!). 

The two cadets wouldn't be so hateful to Lee Sir hadn't it been for the TVB writers, I mean, other characters persistently refraining from telling the kids the whole truth. A Man's mum (Ivy) became closer to Lee after her separation from her husband due to him being unfaithful, yet she didn't tell her children about husband's affair for she didn't want them to think badly of the father. Ivy also liked Sunny (Lee's nickname), and she knew Sunny had had a crush on her since high school, but they never acted on it. A Man was always hostile to Lee Sir outside the PTS (inside the PTS he just swallowed his hatred) for he thought Lee was a marriage wrecker. It slowly changed when A Man realised his dad was the one at fault and Lee saved A Man from being expelled due to misconduct. Ivy and husband eventually tried to be together again, but Ivy had fallen out of love with her husband. Mr Cheung only found out that his wife wasn't happy when he saw a series of high school reunion photographs where Ivy was all smiles whenever she was with Sunny. Mr Cheung later told A Man and Miki (his rebellious sister) that the parents were really getting a divorce, but they're still friends and they're still a family. A Man later realised he'd been a selfish pig for just thinking of himself and not of his mother's happiness. When Ivy and Sunny eventually decided to pursue the relationship together (encouraged by A Man), it was too laaaaate, for Lee Sir later died during a gun fiiiiight!!! (Buhuhuhuhuhu....).

The same misunderstanding happened with Ken. He always thought of Lee as a bad person ever since he learned from Mr Fuk (Ken's grandfather) that Lee left Ken's mum before the wedding, tho the reality was the opposite (the mother left just before Lee distributed the wedding invitations). Then Lee's comical housemate (who was also an instructor) broke the music box Ken had from his mum, thus Ken hated Lee more. Lee himself realised the music box contained the iconic song he shared with Ken's mum, hence he tried to fix the music box to no avail. Eventually, the bond between Ken and Lee got better through Lee apologising for being a strict jerk at home. They went fishing together, Ken cooked Lee crab dishes, and Lee massaged Ken's foot and arm during injuries. Ken also witnessed how Lee actually loved his training cadets like his own sons and daughters, hence the young cadet eventually softened up, to the point that he borrowed Lee's car to go to Fiona's house (Fiona is a girl cadet who Ken dated on and off due to his own insecurities). Later, Ken met his own father, who left him and mum when Ken was 10. Ken bonded with the father, although the latter was just a rotten character who wanted to fish money out of Ken. To help his dad "buying a farm", Ken planned to sell Lee his share of apartment (inherited from his mum). Lee agreed although he knew that Mr Wai (Ken's dad) was a prick who had conned many people beforehand. When Ken eventually found out that his dad was up to no good, the poor boy broke out and went incommunicado. It took Fiona and A Man to find Ken's whereabouts. Meanwhile, Mr Fuk finally told Lee the overdue truth: that Ken was Lee's biological father. Lee was shocked, happy and sad at the same time. He was happy cos he had bonded so well with Ken so far, such that his flat mate said that they were like father and son. Lee was sorry as well because he could've spent time wiser with his only kid. Tell ya, Grandfather Fuk should've told Lee and Ken sooner. What rights did he have for withholding such information?? 

Lee then asked Ivy to help him fixing Ken's music box. They were successful, and he even asked Ivy out for dinner the week after on Ivy's birthday. Ivy agreed, even agreed that it would be just the two of them. Oh but of course it wouldn't happen, cos then Lee was involved in a gunfight (versus a con guy who he shot before), and dieeeed!!! Ken had the sense to call his dad, telling him that he cooked a crab dish for him (at that point Ken didn't know yet that Lee was his true daddy; the cadet just cooked the dish to apologise to Lee for his harsh words about Lee during the "father" fiasco). Lee was very happy to hear Ken had returned home. He promised he'd come home soon. He then rode with his colleague to a place, got involved in a gun fight... And diiied!!! He didn't even have time to call Ken "son" or Ken to call him "Daddy"!! They just held hands at the hospital as he said sorry, and he died!!

Buhuhuhuhuhuhuuuu!

I hate dramas like this!! Imagine my tears as I saw how shock the whole PTS was about Lee Sir's departure. A Man was stunned, his mum Ivy was speechless, Ken couldn't shed tears till the funeral was over and all but Fiona and A Man left the cemetery...(his "Daddyyyyy!!" as he plonked to the ground was still in my head)... Mr Lee Man Sing was a decent man, and his departure left such a big hole in the hearts of people who knew him. Including meeeee....

Technical aspects

Well, tears-aside, The Academy was an enjoyable series. It is a tad too long with 32 episodes, I reckon they could have cut some stories involving the cadets out... But come to think of it, those stories were important to show character development and how Lee Sir was actually a lovely Hello Kitty with a big bad wolf fur... So perhaps the 32 episodes is okay. I wish they'd let him kiss Ivy before he died tho... And let him call Ken "son" and the boy call him "daddy" before he left... Or not having him dying at all!! But, huh, the same case with so many drama. It just HAD to be sad to sell, right??

WRONG!! Chor Lau Heung 1984 and Fearless Duo 1984 had happy endings, and they sold!! The only reason I watched The Foundation 1984 again was to do screen captures and enjoy the happy Li Sai Man/Chun Sik Sik moments. Trust me: the world is full of sad stories. Dramas with happy endings are better, as long as the stories make sense. I don't rewatch BBJX again other than some 4RX moments, for BBJX was just depressing (tho Nicky Wu and Liu Shi Shi are happily married now, thank God!).

Happy ending dramas are better. For me. Period.


14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi, yang berperan sebagai Ivy Michelle Yim ya? Michael pernah main bareng ma Michelle sebelumnya di Legend of Master So 1982 dg Chow Yuen Fat, Andy Lau
ini link YT https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1t_APgZ_NyI
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Qw9t1yV8R8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OvnEr5GN-v0
gambar2nya https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1450806851823400.1073741849.1445808878989864&type=3
Link Dramanya tapi gak ada english sub http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XOTUwNTMwMTY=.html?from=s1.8-1-1.2
Sepertinya Michael jadi tokoh antagonis
Wina

Anonymous said...

Link yg ini tidak double audio http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XODY0OTMwMTYw.html?from=s1.8-1-1.2

Icha said...

Hi Wina, aku kangen!!

Ivy yang di Line Walkers? Elena Kong yg jadi Ivy, bukan Michelle Yim. Lagi nonton Line Walkers kah? Aku suka banget, keren bgt ceritanya.

I was thinking about you the other day. Aku udah terima DVD HSDS 86 dari temanku, jadi udah bisa aku tonton. Kalo lewat online, suka putus2...

Baru sampe Ep 4 HSDS, Simon Yam masih lirik2an sama bakal istrinya. Ntar kalo udah bbrp episode, aku post review ku. Simon udah lebih bagus mainnya Di HSDS drpd di LOCH ato CLH. Matanya udah lebih bercahaya...

Anonymous said...

Miss you too :)
Bukan Ivy yang di The Academy, memang aq suka males kalo nonton online suka putus2, hmmm padahal Simon itu pemain veteran lho dibanding Five Tigers dia duluan uda dapat peran utama
oh ya ini link yg gak double audio http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XNjgyNDc4MDMy.html?from=s1.8-1-1.2

Icha said...

Ya ampyuuuunn!!! Gw ga nyadar kalo Ivy itu Michelle Yim alias Mie Shieh!!!

Gw lupa juga kalo pacarnya Michael di Line Walker itu Katie, bukan Ivy...

Gw suka sama Mie Shieh, tapi asli gw ga ngeh!! Ma kasih ya...hehehe

Soal Simon, iya sih dia duluan, tapi IMO, akting dia di ROCH 83 (sorry, salah lagi, ROCH, bukan LOCH) kurang nendang. I mean, dia Mongol kan? Dia ga keliatan conflicted bahwa dia ngebelain kebenaran, tapi sedih juga krn semua Mongol dicap jahat (Huazheng kan baik, contohnya). N di CLH dia sempat kurang lunatic waktu dia nyadar dia bukan anak kaisar. Tapi pas last scenes, udah lebih oke. In my opinion...

Anonymous said...

Aq tahu Mie Shieh sejak dulu, baca di tabloid, kemaren aq beli banyak, LOCH83, CLH84, dll, n smuanya belum kelar ditonton lol (kemaruk deh), gak tau kpn bisa menyelesaikan... aq dpt CLH yg cut version double audio, sempat liat CLH yg online 40ep utk nyocokkin, memang Michael cocok bgt jd CLH, sementara aku paham napa princess suka ma CLH, tp aku blm paham kalo sebaliknya, mumgkin krn aku blm tamat plus yg kutonton cut version.
Menurut aku Simon walau kurang cakep pas bgt jadi Zhang Cui San di HSDS86, kalo d CLH sementara sih pas aja jd Bat prince, karakternya kan manis diluar busuk didalam Srigala berbulu domba, tp gak sampe terpesona, just okay.
Oh ya Legend of Dik Ching jg ada d youku.com tp Mandarin version no subs

Anonymous said...

Aq uda nonton Legend of Master So tp banyak aq fast fwd, krn gak paham Bahasa Cantonese n Mandarin, fiuh bikin frustasi, awalnya karakter Chow Yun Fat n Mie Shieh saling suka, tp CYF salh paham, n MS akirnya nrima lamaran Michael, tp selanjutnya Michael jahat bgt ke MS, salah satunya krn cemburu buta sptnya ke CYF, MS ngabur k rumah CYF ug jg uda menikah, tp MS tetap ngajak baikan k Michael, Michaelnya nolak mentah2, so mean, endingnya MS mengucapkan perpisahan k CYF, n rujuk ma Michael, mrk rujuk, tp kenapa MS sptnya minum racun ya...n dia meninggal hiks......Michael nyebelin bgt k Mie Shieh...mungkin krn di seri ini kali ya, membuat dia kepilih jd Yeung Hong, tp sih katanya sbl d LOCH83 dia bbrp kali jd villain

Icha said...

Wah, jangan nonton yg cut version... Banyak yg dicut....yg 40 eps each 45-48 min juga Ada cut, tapi not important scenes. Mending ntn yg online krn dia somewhat intact....

Oh, jadi Michael udah pernah main sama Mie Shieh to dulu? Ga tau... Aku kalo no subtitles susah nonton... Ga ngerti blas soalnya...thanks a lot for the info ya.

Simon was good as the evil Bat Prince. Cuma pas scene Ep 36-37 yg dia tahu dia bukan anak kaisar yg kurasa kurang pas, dan 1-2 scene lain. Tapi in general dia bagus sbg serigala berbulu domba.

Icha said...

"sementara aku paham napa princess suka ma CLH, tp aku blm paham kalo sebaliknya, mumgkin krn aku blm tamat plus yg kutonton cut version"

Sepertinya CLH suka sama Princess karena... ya karena suka aja. She's very vibrant and outspoken, and although she liked him, she didn't hesitate to leave him when she had to. Jadi malah bikin penasaran. Sedangkan cewek2 yang lain semua flocking around him.

Oh, aku barusan nonton link yang ini: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Qw9t1yV8R8

It has Andy Lau too there! Not that I'm a big fan of his, but it's nice to see Michael, Andy, Mie Shieh and Chow Yun Fat in the same series.

Tapi Mie Shieh pernah ga sih main jadi yang ga sedih? Kalo Barbara kan pernah main jadi damsel in distress di the Foundation, tapi pernah jadi jagoan cempreng juga di LOCH. Kalo Mie Shieh, pernah ga?

Anonymous said...

Aku jg gak tau kenapa aku dkasih ma penjualnya CLH yg cut version, pdhl di listnya 40 ep, aku dulu bgt baca ttg Mie Shieh tp gak pernah nonton serinya, di FB Kaypang Gallery Mie Shieh d The Tai Chi Master meranin kembar yg karakternya berlainan 1nya kalem satunya jahat.
Yoi, senang bgt liat Chow Yun Fat, Andy Lau, Michael, Mie Shieh dlm 1 seri, tp sayang gak ada sub english

Icha said...

Satu episode DVD mu berapa menit? Cek aja, ntar kasih tau aku. Aku bisa cocokin sama versi DVD ku yang aku dapet dari salah satu gerai Tokopedia (yang udah tutup, sayangnya).

Siapa tau Kaypang Gallery mau terjemahin Legend of So? Coba tanya Pangchu (Pang Chu apa sih? Kaypang chu.... apa gitu?)

Anonymous said...

Aku blm ngecheck menitnya, d ep 1 yg cut version d awal gak ada duel CLH ama, monk siapa gitu, dg Queen of Sea dan ama satunya.
Oh ya Pangchu (aq jg gak tau napa dipanggil gitu) pernah buat project terjemahin seri, tapi jarang.

Anonymous said...

Icha, aku sapa dirimu di Facebook Messenger

Icha said...

Haaa... okey Wina, udah aku accept yaaa...

Eh iya, Pangchu itu artinya Ketua Partai, as in Kaypang leader, gitu... (Ketua Partai Pengemis). Thanks ya!